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      Israel Lobby: Settlements are Vital for Peace

      Land of Israel Lobby head: supporting Judea and Samaria isn’t anti-peace, it’s the only way to peace.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 6/11/2013, 7:29 PM

      Women in Samaria (Shomron)
      Women in Samaria (Shomron)
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Supporting Jewish rights in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) does not mean opposing the peace process, Land of Israel Lobby head Yariv Levin (Likud) said Tuesday, speaking at the Lobby’s first session under the current Knesset.

      In fact, he said, it is the only way to peace.

      “The Lobby’s main role is to be a moral guide to the government and Knesset… Not to be against the peace process, but to prove that there is no peace and cannot be peace unless we realize our full rights in the entire land of Israel,” he declared. “Until we do this, there is no point to talking about peace.”

      The lobby must strive to affect Israeli policy on both the domestic level and international level, said MK Orit Struk (Bayit Yehudi).

      On the domestic level, she said, the lobby must fight for human rights for Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, including their right to purchase land or property and to build.

      “Regarding foreign policy: the state of Israel’s right to the regions of Judea and Samaria must be expressed in our foreign policy, in our public relations, in our negotiations,” she said.

      Struk added, “We are happy that the deputy Foreign Minister, who was formerly the head of this lobby, remains a member of our lobby, and we believe he will endeavor to make it clear to the world that Israel has a right to Judea and Samaria.”

      Minister of Economics and Trade Naftali Bennett said Israel should not lose track of the real reason for the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria.

      “There are a lot of reasons to settle Judea and Samaria. Because of defense, and history, for moral reasons. But we need to keep repeating the main reason: because it is our land. This is where our forefather Abraham walked, and that is why we are here,” Bennett said.

      MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) spoke as well. Lipman said he supports the “two state solution” plan, which would create a new Arab state in Judea and Samaria, but that he loves the land of Israel. “Any concession of even the smallest piece of the land of Israel will pain my greatly,” he said.